Brand: Kirin: Koiwai family Products
Cost: 160 yen
Found At: Vending Machine
If the color didn’t tell get the message across, and the large cheerful illustration of grapes did not clue you in, you would still recognize the flavor instantly. This drink is full-on grape. It is maximum grape. It is grape as God and modern science intended grape to be. It is the drink equivalent of caps-lock.
It is a little less sweet than the grape juice concentrates we had when I was a child, and the flavor is marginally more authentic, but the idea is the same. The taste certainly does not resemble store-bought grapes, but if you’ve ever eaten a grape off the vine, that that seems to be the guiding principle behind the flavor of this drink. That is if that flavor is then multiplied by a factor of ten. The overall effect is a strange conflict between natural and not. It is an odd reminder of how the grape juice industry emerged as a response to Prohibition, when all the wine vineyards had to diversify. You had to be desperate to produce a drink like this, and if I’m being honest, I wish it had been wine.